Invasion Of The Lower Tier Victory Snatchers!
Author's Note: My articles are based solely on my opinions. Normally no statistics are offered. Enjoy and feel free to comment afterwards...
As I watched qualifying for the Xfinity Series at Indianapolis, it came to mind that many people do not like the fact that high-dollar Cup teams can run in this series and they can bring their very experienced Sprint Cup pit crews with them to service their Xfinity car. It was very sad that T.J. Bell who has a limited budget for racing would miss the race because of the more affluent Cup drivers who are competing in the race.
Normally there is no limit to the resources the Cup drivers have to compete in what is known as the lesser series. They have all the technology and research available from not only their manufacturers but from their sponsors as well. They have shops that have all the latest, most expensive equipment available with which to experiment. They have many more employees because they have several teams to draw ideas and knowledge from. As I mentioned, they have all the resources.
In almost any series of auto racing, they have their own set of rules and most of the rules are followed to the letter. Local tracks welcome all entrants if they have the fee to enter the competition. There could also be an age limit for drivers. This will vary from track to track. Some tracks allow 14 year olds while at others, a driver has to be at least 16. The bottom line is if you and your car meet their tracks specifications you can race at most of the local tracks in the country.
The same is true of NASCAR racing. If you have the car, driver and meet the specs then you can race in any of their series - if you qualify. Some of their tracks may require extra testing or qualifications for drivers who are racing at those tracks for the first time.
Many suggestions have been offered so that up and coming drivers in the lesser series will have more of a chance. Some of the suggestions are: limit the number of races a Cup driver can enter. Don't let them race in these series at all. Don't let their Cup pit crew work their pits when they enter these races. Don't pay them the big purses but instead give those purses to highest finishing regular series drivers. I am sure there are other thoughts and suggestions about how to handle it as each person had their own ideas.
At Indianapolis, there were 41 entrants trying to make the Xfinity race. The one car that did not qualify to be in the race was, as I mentioned above, T.J. Bell. The Cup drivers that did qualify for the race were: Kyle Busch, Kyle Larson, Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano and Paul Menard. Please note that all of these Cup drivers qualified in the top 10. My suggestion at this point would be to take the slowest of these drivers which was Paul Menard and replace him with T.J. Bell. If there had been more than one regular who did not qualify, then replace the next slowest Cup driver with that one. Keep doing this until the regular Xfinity drivers and others who are trying to break into the sport and who brought a car to try and make the race has a chance to race and show their talent.
Does this seem unfair to the Cup regulars who spent time practicing and qualifying? Maybe or maybe not. Is this fair to an up and coming driver or a new team to automatically eliminate them because they don't have the monetary resources, experience of a Cup driver or a Cup pit crew working for them in the pits? Maybe and maybe not. Each of you reading this will have your own thoughts and opinions about this. You are always welcome to share those feelings in the comment section following the article.
One of our regular members on the site wrote this in the comments section of our Roar of the Crowd forum. Dave said: It just kills me to see the cars from Cup shops dominate Xfinity. It's been years since a privateer could compete at a Cup race and now they're nearly excluded from the second tier. NASCAR really needs to fix its second tier series and open the doors to new, small teams. Thanks, Dave. A lot of us feel the same way. I think you made an extremely good point in what you said.
After having just watched the first half of the Cup race only intermittently, it is very apparent that Toyota is dominating not only Xfinity but the Sprint Cup as well. Does this bode well for the future of NASCAR? I wonder how many others like me lost interest in the race around lap 20 or so.
I look forward to your thoughts and comments. Thank you for reading.